The Maurienne valley, offers an exceptionally exciting area for cycling. “The World's Largest Cycling Region" offers 11 mountain passes, three of which are included in the “Cyclosportive de la Madeleine” event.
COL DE LA CROIX DE FER
29km - 1615m D+
This is the classic way to make the ascent of the Col, less harsh than in the Col du Glandon. Discover the valley of Arves, dominated by the Etendard glacier.
Since Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, follow the direction of the Col de la Croix de Fer.
You thrive on a shady road from then more open to your arrival in the valley of Arves. Pass through the hamlets that make up the villages of Saint-Jean d'Arves and Saint Sorlin d'Arves, before starting the final climb during which you will encounter herds grazing.
At the top, the view that awaits you is well worth the effort! This route is with milestones.
You will find water points and food for Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, St Jean d'Arves, Saint Sorlin d'Arves and the Col de la Croix de Fer. The nearest repair places are located in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Saint Jean d'Arves.
On arrival at the valley of Arves, follow the scenic route, you will discover backdrop of the Needles of Arves with the Church of Montrond in the foreground.
At the top of your climb, the Col de la Croix de fer: panorama of the mythical Needles of Arves emblem territory Arvan Villards-Arves on Pic de l'Etendard glacier and Saint Sorlin and the valley of Arves. View over the village of Saint-Sorlin and Saint Jean d'Arves.
CHARACTERISTICS COL DE LA CROIX DE FER
2067 m of altitude
1615m of elevation gain
10,5% max on 420m
COL DU CHAUSSY
14 km - 1031m D+
The Col de Chaussy (1533 m) is located in the Pontamafrey-Montpascal commune of the Maurienne valley.
In 2012, the forest road leading down towards Montaimont was paved giving the possibility of creating a new cycle circuit. This was a remarkable initiative in response to a growing demand from cyclists who had to make a return trip on the same road. The fittest cyclists can now even try to string together the mountain passes of Le Chaussy and La Madeleine. Indeed, the reconstruction of this road has facilitated the link between these two passes via Montaimont.
From Pontamafrey, count on a beautiful 14km climb of 1031m at 7.5%. You will climb a spectacular, near-vertical rock face on a switchback road for 3km at +8% on average. At the top of this climb, you will cross the village of Montvernier before heading on to Montpascal. The road winds through the forest and then skirts the cliff rock face. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful view over the Maurienne valley and St-Jean-de-Maurienne.
After these initial highlights, the route takes a more gentle slope dropping 900m at -5% to Montvernier. Warning: this is the only respite that you will get! On leaving Montvernier, the climbing starts again with an average gradient of +8% over 1.4 km between Montvernier and Le Noirey followed by another 1.4 km at +7.5% up to Montbrunal.
The following 5.6 km has gradients ranging from +7% to +9% and then continues to Montpascal at +6.5%. Your legs should be warm enough now to tackle the final part of the course. After 5 hairpin bends at +7% over 1.7 km you will reach the Chaussy Pass at an altitude of 1533 metres! The pass has a typical rural ambiance, a lovely chapel and a splendid view of the Belledonne mountain range. The mountain pass of Le Chaussy is sited on a small plateau; it is a centre for Nordic skiing in winter.
CHARACTERISTICS COL DU CHAUSSY
1533 m of altitude
1031m of elevation gain
10% max on 100m
19 km - 1520m D+
The Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys are connected by the Madeleine mountain pass, which is reached after 40 bends of a very winding and dramatic climb. In the eighteenth century, the pass was still called the Dove until a chapel dedicated to Saint Madeleine was constructed there. The decision to link this strategic pass to the road network was taken in 1949 to form a link between the Maurienne and the Tarentaise valleys. The work, which lasted nearly twenty years, was completed in 1969 and was inaugurated by the ... Tour de France. Spanish rider Andres Gandarias was the first to arrive at the summit (and 5th overall in the 56th Tour de France which was won by Eddy Merckx.). This new pass was quickly established as one of the hardest of the Tour and was strung together with the Telegraph-Galibier passes.
On 19th July, 2018, the Tour de France celebrated its 26th passage of the Col de la Madeleine.
The climb to Saint François Longchamp is difficult but you will be rewarded by the landscape after the resort which reveals a stunning view over the mountains ranges of the Grandes Rousses, the Belledone and in the background the Ecrins. In the centre you will be able to make out the rise to the Col du Glandon.
The last 1300 metres climb at +7.5% and are intense but at the top you will enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc and a 360 ° mountain panorama
CHARACTERISTICS COL DE LA MADELEINE